According to Wikipedia, a remix is defined as an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. Likewise, a remixer is defined as someone who uses audio mixing to compose an alternate master recording of a song, adding or subtracting elements, or simply changing the equalization, dynamics, pitch, tempo, playing time, or almost any other aspect of the various musical components.
For anyone who has dabbled in music editing, mixing, remixing, and the like, you may already be familiar with templates. A remix template as defined in this article is nothing more than a customized session template you create in your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that contains your most commonly used audio, midi, and return tracks, plug-ins, and other favorite settings.
Why do you need a remix template? Your goal is to avoid re-inventing the wheel every time you start a new remix project. Of course, creating a template is not necessary if you enjoy starting every new remix project from scratch. On the other hand, if you want to emulate professional remixers and producers who actually earn real money every now and again (hence the term professional), then start creating and using templates on a regular basis.
In a nutshell, the primary reason for using a remix template is to spend less time recreating the repetitive technical parts of a remix, and spend more time being creative. A smooth, uninterrupted workflow is important when remixing, especially if you decide to join a remix contest. Remix contests are a great way to gain valuable, free experience developing your skills and getting constructive feedback in the process. In addition, remix contests give you a chance to showcase your skills and gain recognition for all your hard work. Look for more on remix contests in a future article.
Some of today’s popular DAWs include Garage Band (included free with Mac), Ableton Live 8 ($337), Avid Pro Tools 10 ($599), Apple Logic Pro 9 ($199), Propellerhead Reason 6 ($399), Steinberg Cubase 6 ($499), and FL Studio Producer 10 ($199.) Although choosing a digital audio workstation is a matter of taste, I chose Ableton Live 8 for its speed, fluid workflow design, and ease of use. Likewise, if you use multiple DAWs for each project, you can create one or more templates in each DAW quickly and easily.
For example, I normally use a remix template in Ableton for editing and mixing, and I use a separate template in Pro Tools for mastering. [Note: I recently switched to Ableton for mastering, as my version of Pro Tools M-Powered 8 is not compatible with the latest version of Mac OSX Lion.] If you are new to remixing then you need to do yourself a favor and start building remix templates now, rather than later. Today’s top remixers all use one or more remix templates in their projects, so why wouldn’t you?
In Part 2, we will examine Ableton’s factory default template and how to create a new remix template from an existing session. As you will see, your new remix template will be a continual “work in progress,” as remix templates grow and evolve over time. As you pick up new tools and techniques, you will inevitably make changes to your remix template(s) and create multiple templates for different tasks.
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